In the evening of November 10th, 1989 six friends decided spontaneously to skip school next day and to leave for Berlin where history was written in those days. They packed a few things and the next morning they took off with their so-called cars – more scrap than anything – for the 550 km distance from the very western part of Germany to Berlin. More than 40 hours without sleeping and hundreds of kilometers of traffic jam lay ahead of them – as well as some of the most emotional impressions of their lives until that point. They literally intimately experienced the opening of one part of the German Wall at Potsdamer Platz on November 12th with all its stories behind. One of these young guys was me and I’m still very thankful for the privilege of being witness of this moment. The only tangible memory I still have from that day is the photo I’ve taken there which you can see above.
For all those who are confused about the title: I was born in Poland and lived there for the first seven years of my life. Some weeks ago I expressed my anticipation about visiting Ireland for the first time and explained some reasons for this choice – most of them justified by its geographical location and history. In the case of Poland the situation is quite a bit different and much more personal for me. If Ireland might be the country that I’m curious about the most, Poland will be the most emotional part of my journey. I will come back to my country of birth for the first time almost 40 years after leaving it as a child – apart from one visit to Masuria for holidays in 1995. But that’s another story…
Probably you all know this feeling. Almost everything you’ve been thinking about yesterday already sounds outdated today and will become obsolete tomorrow. The world appears to stay in the fast lane, news is overwhelming you through different media all day and neither politics nor society seems to be able to respond to the urgent questions and challenges of our time. What ist right, what wrong? Which information can I trust and whose statistics can I believe? If those who are in power obviously don’t know the answers, how could we know them? We start to feel helpless and powerless to say the least. Some become scared, some angry, others aggressive. The rest of the story is known and can be quickly told.
La liberté et la lumière sont plus fortes que la haine et l’obscurité.